Lately, LAST MINUTE travel is the norm what with COVID requirements changing almost daily, leaving people reluctant to make plans. Fact is, if you follow the mandates, and give yourself plenty of time going to and from your destination, you’ll see that travel need not be daunting—and can be just the ticket during the holidays.
This major seaport and one of Mexico’s oldest beach resorts is located in the state of Guerrero on the Pacific coast, embraced by a deep, semicircular bay with breathtaking views. Of the three resort sections, “Diamante” is dominated by newer luxury high-rise hotels while the north end, Parque Papagayo, and the Zona Dorada are the older, famous mid-century vacation spot that lured the Jet Set and Hollywood crowd.
Named one of “America’s Top Holiday Towns” by USA Today—Alexandria’s brick-lined streets recall a Dickens village. Just minutes from Washington, D.C., the restaurants are an epicurean’s delight, and the charming shops will satisfy any shopaholic. First Night Alexandria on New Year’s Eve is a festival of music, fireworks, and more.
Baby, it’s cold outside, but Iceland with its vast stretches of snow-clad landscapes and the iridescent Northern Lights is a wintery dreamland. For the adventurous, go on a glacier trekking expedition or husky ride. Or relax, open a good book, and enjoy an Icelandic Hot Chocolate, bowl of lobster bisque, or a Reyka vodka martini, shaken not stirred, by a hotel fire.
Photo credit for Abingdon VA Hector Manuel Sanchez
One of the most charming towns in the American South is also one of the oldest craft cooperatives in the country. Visit the charming shops along one of the best “Main Street shopping districts in America,” Main Street, where the Holston Mountain Artisans showcase traditional and contemporary Appalachian crafts, and take in a show at the 500-seat Barter theater, which is much the same today as it was when it was built in 1933.
With COVID sanctions lifting, a holiday escape to Ireland is a magical last-minute plan. From deluxe, five-star castles to more than 1,000 charming bed and breakfasts, a vast range of accommodations is available. The food is remarkable, the people friendly, and while you may not find a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, you will find tranquility and endless charm in one of the most beautiful countries in the world.
If you’re seeking a warm clime, relaxation, communing with nature and amazing food, travel to Puerto Rico, where the winter temperatures lull in the 80s. Swim and snorkel at night in the bioluminescent plankton coastal bays, walk through Old San Juan, take a rainforest hike. It takes about five hours to fly from Miami.